St. Paul’s concept of ayvoia (ignorantia) may not be too far removed from dyiwia, since both mean the initial, unconscious condition of man.
When God “looked down” on the times of ignorance, the Greek word used here, WeptSwv (Vulgate: despiciens) has the connotation ‘to disdain, despise.’
At all events, Gnostic tradition says that when the highest God saw what miserable, unconscious creatures these human beings were whom the demiurge had created, who were not even able to walk upright, he immediately got the work of redemption under way.
And in the same passage in the Acts, Paul reminds the Athenians that they were “God’s offspring,” and that God, looking back disapprovingly on “the times of ignorance,” had sent the message to mankind, commanding “all men every-where to repent.”
Because that earlier condition seemed to be altogether too wretched, the (transformation of mind) took on the moral character of repentance of sins, with the result that the Vulgate could translate it as “poenitentiam agere.”
The sin to be repented, of course, is unconsciousness.
As we have seen, it is not only man who is in this condition, but also, according to the Gnostics, the God without consciousness.
This idea is more or less in line with the traditional Christian view that God was transformed during the passage from the Old Testament to the New, and, from being the God of wrath, changed into the God of Love—a thought that is expressed very clearly by Nicolaus Caussin in the seventeenth century. ~Carl Jung, Aion, Pages 191-192.